Fashion

Lazy Sunday | Things I’m Loving At the Moment

It’s Valentine’s Day weekend and as such I have decided to write a Things I’m Loving post. Here’s a list of the little things I am obsessing over at the moment….

ACCESSORIES | Olivia Burton Winter Garden Leather Watch

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I have been absolutely head over heels in love with Olivia Burton watches ever since I wrote my Top High Street Watches post, back in god knows when. Her designs are simple and delicate, and I always planned one day to invest in a really beautiful watch. I’ve had some really horrible news this week, which I’ve really been struggling with, and my mum and my boyfriend have been really amazing supports on the phone in reassuring me that things are actually ‘going to be ok’. Anyway, I came home on Friday to a parcel from John Lewis and my wonderful mum had sent me this lovely surprise with the note “Just a little something to cheer you up, Love Mum”. I nearly started crying right there, because it was so sweet and thoughtful and the watch itself is so chic and elegant. I am absolutely in love, I can’t stop looking at it. I would definitely recommend having a look at her collection on John Lewis or ASOS, as she does a really great range of watches, some at pretty reasonable prices.

EATS | Hot-Cross Buns

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It’s that time of year again where there are hot cross buns all over the supermarkets, and although I have never liked them before, I am becoming a bit obsessed. Get me a hot cross bun, a cup of tea and a book at the weekend and I will be happy. They’re so yummy and so cheap to buy! I’m very excited to do a little Waitrose shop soon and see if I can pick up a few different flavours – cinnamon and raisin here I come!

FACE:  No7 Makeup Goodies

IMG_0127I’ve had a pretty hectic couple of weeks, with lots of Uni work to do, and as a result my makeup situation has gotten pretty dire. I ran out of foundation completely on the day I planned to go into town to restock my makeup bag, and ended up covering my face in the last smidgen of concealer I could find – not a good look. It was rather embarrassing, when the lady at the makeup counter asked me what base I had used that morning: “Ermm…”.  On the search for both foundation and concealer, I was hoping there might be a good deal in Boots. It was the Buy One Get One Half Price deal at No7, which caught my attention, and of course the added luxury of finding a lady to help me find my perfect shade without too much effort, was too good to pass up.  I ended up walking away with the Beautifully Matte Foundation and the Instant Radiance Under Eye Concealer, both of which match together beautifully. And it only came to £20, a little bit more than I might usually spend, but so far I’m really happy with both products so that’s good news, and of course having proper makeup doing its actual job is always nice.

HAIR: Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Crystal Shine Shampoo and Conditioner

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On this journey to get myself back to some kind of normality (just trying to make myself feel more like myself really) I have also had my hair done – as the roots of my blonde highlighted hair where almost covering the whole top of my head, making it look more like I’d just dip-dyed the ends blonde, as opposed not having enough time/money to sort my barnet out. I did, however, read a comforting snippet in Fabulous Magazine, which was talking about how roots are in, so that was nice for a week or so. But I am happily blonde again, the split ends have been trimmed away and my mother (again the wonder that she is) has found me the best shampoo and conditioner set. I’ve actually had this set since Christmas, but I sadly forgot to take it back with me to Uni and as a result we have only just been reunited. It’s the Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Crystal Shine Shampoo and Conditioner developed with Claudia Schiffer and it is absolutely divine. The scent is a bit hard to put my finger on, it smells quite like coconut and vanilla, and completely like you’ve just had your hair professionally washed in the salon. And it feels like that too, really sleek and soft and light – I am completely in love. The shampoo and conditioner set themselves, do come in at about £10 together, fully priced (fingers crossed for some deals soon), which is expensive when I consider that I usually try and stick to more around the £3-£5 mark, but for a little treat or if you’re got a bit of cash to spare I was totally recommend these products – they literally make me feel like Claudia Schiffer after I’ve blow dried my hair, hair swishing adverts here I come!

WEAR: BDG Mom Jeans 

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I’ve been on the search for a pair of light denim Mom Jeans for a while now, so with Urban Outfitter’s tempting me with £10 off offer, I had to try a pair on. Then of course I had to buy them, just to see if they would potentially go with any of my tops at home – I can always take them back after all…. Although not quite as soft as my faithful black Topshop pair, these jeans are super comfy, and not too tough around the tummy area, which is nice. They’re a great colour for spring and are currently making me feel summery already, even if they do still have the labels in…

That’s my list of things I’m loving at the moment, what are you loving right now? 

Harriette

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Lazy Sundays | University Instagram Snaps

I’ve been at back at Exeter for about 7 weeks now, and away from blogging for about 4. So I thought this was a nice, little, easy update on how things have been going recently.

Working from the top down, I’m so happy to be back in Exeter as it has all of this beautiful countryside! The image featured above is of my walk to University, which is really lovely when the weather is nice and pretty horrible when it’s not. | I was lucky enough to review some amazing Arbonne products during Fresher’s week – you can read my blog post about them here. Since trying them out I have HAD to buy both the primer and the cleanser and absolutely love both, my skin has never looked so good! | Ofcourse, I had to get my hair sorted when I got back to Uni, as I’d just sort of let it grow out over the summer. Getting it cut and coloured was just what I needed – even if it did come with a horribly big price tag….

I went home briefly for an orthodontist appointment about 3 weeks ago, and picked up these lovely bits from Sainsbury’s – the TU clothing section is definitely not to be underrated | Here I am with my two lovely housemates Giulia and Anna, out for Giulia’s birthday at a really great cocktail place called Urban Underground, I was about two cocktails down at this point and wearing my new Topshop leather dress from the summer sale | The next two are a few of my cooking innovations, inspired by the wonderful Londoner – if you’ve not checked out her blog yet, the food stuff in particular is amazing! Here I have made her Dip n Share Eggs, and her Tommy Tart.

Next up is the typical “mug of tea” photo. I was procrastinating heavily whilst reading for my course and made myself a cup of Peppermint Green Tea to help fend off my cold. I got this mug for my birthday and I absolutely love it, it’s by Sophie Allport who makes a range of mugs with different patterns on, and different phrases printed on the inside.| Lewis came to visit me for a week, during his reading week and we had a really wonderful time. The first image is from St Nicholas Market in Bristol [ which is a must-see and reminds me a lot of Camden] and the second of course is from Halloween. I went dressed as a creepy doll and Lewis went as a zombie, with his very own homemade blood stained T-shirt . | The final picture is from my favourite restaurant Bill’s, where we had an amazing brunch [just looking at that image again is making me hungry] and I drank so much tea because that teapot filled about 8 cups – bliss.

I hope you enjoyed this little post, it’s something a bit different. From now on I will be posting on here every Sunday and Tuesday, so if you liked this post make sure you look out for more! 

Harriette

 

Strong Not Skinny

The word “role model” is often banded together with the idea of fame or celebrity in modern media, as the majority of big bloggers might be only too aware. Writing a blog that becomes very popular, or appearing in a reality TV programme can mean that an individual comes to be regarded as a role model, and that of course comes with the heavy burden of responsibility. A role model’s lifestyle, dress code and eating habits can easily be picked up by an eager fan, and this is where debates about good and bad role models arise.

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Made in Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh was criticised at the beginning of last month after sharing a photo of herself on Instagram and Twitter at a photoshoot. The uncaptioned photograph, showed Millie wearing a silver bikini, highlighting her slim, muscular frame. This Instagram picture quickly sparked outrage as Mackintosh’s husband, Professor Green retweeted the photo onto his own Twitter account, adding “#thinspiration”. Experts (according to The Daily Mail) criticised the couple for encouraging young girls to starve themselves. Despite Mackintosh’s prompt reply to her husband’s joke, highlighting that her message was actually one of “fitspiration”, the media soon caught hold, with the uploading of the photo and Millie’s “role model” status even being debated on popular ITV programme Loose Women.

As a young (just about still teenage) girl, who has followed Millie’s Twitter for a good year now, I would have to respectfully disagree that she is in anyway a bad influence to young girls. There are a plethora of horrendous and harmful images available to young people on the internet with the label “thinspiration” – often used by pro-anorexia groups – but this isn’t one of them. Mackintosh’s “strongnotskinny” message, which she promotes heavily both on her Twitter and Instagram pages, encourage healthy, clean, eating and plenty of exercise. Despite her slim frame, it is her strong body which she is promoting, a body far away from the skin and bones look incorporated in most “thinspiration” images.

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It is a sad and indisputable fact that the majority of women and increasingly, younger and younger girls, will at some point, or maybe several points in their lives think about losing weight. However, adding tone to you body, can give the illusion of lost weight without getting to an unhealthy stage. By acting as a role model for young girls, celebrities like Millie Mackintosh – who children should be made aware, are generally slim as part of their job description – are at least sending out a message that strong is the way to be, not skinny, whilst at the same time promoting the empowering idea of improving your body for yourself.

I have never been a girl who’s been desperate to lose weight. Of course I’ve had my moments of “Oh my God, my jeans don’t fit!”, but generally I’m quite lucky that I’m mostly happy with myself. Recently however, I have felt inspired to exercise at least 3/4 times a week, trying to add a bit of tone to my tummy, but also, in the hope it might have other health benefits, such as giving me more energy. Since going to Uni and being able to pick my own food, I’ve always tried to eat well. I’d rather make all of my meals at home from scratch and go for the occasional meal out than eat a ready meal [mostly because they taste vile]. If I can swap a potato for a sweet potato, I will and if I can have slightly more veg and meat on my plate than carbs I will.

Personally I don’t believe in dieting, as I really don’t think it’s sustainable. But making little lifestyle choices, like cutting out bad food and trying to eat more eggs and apples and low-fat yoghurts makes me feel like I’m doing my body a favour. And ofcourse, I’m not good all of the time. I absolutely LOVE bad food. Yesterday I had lunch out, came home and ate 6 profiteroles…. I’m not denying my body food in the slightest, I’m just trying to think more and more about what I’m putting into it.

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In the way of exercise, I am working on strengthening my body through cardio and strength exercises. I’ve been enjoying using Davina McCall’s Body Buff Workout Video, which provides a range of warm ups, workouts and strength exercises allowing you to focus on key parts of the body, as I’m going on holiday soon I’ve been focusing on my “abs”.

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We also at the moment have in our house a spinning bike, which my Dad borrowed from my Uncle in order to train for a cycling race. I was slightly reluctant to give it a go, as  I had previously read a tweet from a female comedian (I’ve forgotten who) that spinning is very much like being punched in the v***** – nice. I have to say the seat is not incredibly comfortable on our old model, but I’ve found once I’ve got all my gear on and found a great workout/pop/r&b playlist on 8tracks I’m pretty good to go AND it helps me mix up my workout if I need a change from Davina.

Personally, I think I’ve been really inspired by Millie’s #strongnotskinny mantra. To me it’s a really important and empowering message to send out to young girls, that if for what ever reason you want to slim down [although I do not believe in doing so if it’s unnecessary] then at least go about it in the right way, with a healthy diet and exercise, to strengthen your body rather than weaken it. Celebrities like this, should be encouraged to spread such a positive message about looking after your body. Hopefully when girls who watch Millie strutting her stuff in her Louis Vitton, look up to her as a role model, and admire her body they will be inspired by the her happy, healthy, balanced lifestyle.

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I hope you liked this post, to read Millie’s reaction to the media attention surrounding her Instagram photo click here.

Harriette

Tenerife In iPhone Photos

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I had such a lovely time in Tenerife. I hadn’t been before, but I loved the beaches with the really cool, relaxed bars and our hotel was gorgeous. I love a good beach holiday, it’s so nice to just be able to lie and soak up the sun and read. I read A Long Way Down and The Kite Runner, both of which are good – although I think I preferred The Kite Runner. It was great to just be lazy, sitting in the sun, going for a dip in the pool, taking a stroll down to the beach. And if you want to be active there’s plenty to do as well. One day we just hired bikes from the hotel and rode down to Los Cristianos, the next town along from where we stayed in Costa Adeje. After cycling around Central Park in New York, I’ve always thought it’s a lovely way to really see a place and Tenerife was no exception. We cycled right along by the beach, locking the bikes up to grab a drink and sit on the sand. The other day we left our sun beds, we swapped them for the ones at Siam Park [ a well-know water park in Tenerife]. At first I was a little apprehensive, as having the high expectations governed by the Disney water parks in Florida, I wasn’t sure how a park in Tenerife might measure up. It was however, very impressive. Eloise and I spent the day going on a range of different rides, most of them inflatable ones [ my favourite], whilst Dad had a snooze by “beach” area on his sun bed. Overall, I had an amazing time in Tenerife. The food was great, the hotel was great, the cocktails were great, the landscape was beautiful and the company was of course perfect. One lovely week of relaxing in the sun and enjoying books and music.

Have you ever visited Tenerife? What were your thoughts? Where is your favourite holiday destination?

Harriette

 

 

Summer Staples *

The benefit to being a June baby, is that my birthday comes right at the beginning of the summer, just as I’m itching to get my hands on a new summer wardrobe. I’m pretty good when it comes to summer clothes, as I tend to invest and keep items for a number of years. This year however, my clothes selection was in need of a serious update. So here are a few of my Summer Staples for 2014….

The Bold Playsuit

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I really love a good playsuit in the summer. They are so easy and light to chuck on and they can be easily dressed up or down for day to night looks. There also tends to be a wide variety of choice, on the hunt for a bold floral playsuit I was over-whelmed by the variety of choice in a range of different shops. I did however, immediately fall in love with this sunflower pattern from Pins & Needles at Urban Outfitters. It’s made of a beautiful silky material that’s lightweight and the colours are really bold and summery. I found that it hung on me a lot better than other playsuits, as I have somewhat of a boyish shape some playsuits tend to be a bit baggy around the top, but this fitted perfectly. I especially love the scalloped detailing of the neckline, which adds a pretty, feminine detail to this lovely playsuit. Dressed up with my big floppy hat and round sunglasses, I felt a bit like an old school hippy in this and I can definitely see it easily teamed with a pair of wellies ready for the festival season. 

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This is another playsuit that I got from Topshop a little while ago now in the Easter holidays. Like the one above, the pattern makes it easy to wear just on it’s own in the daytime, and it can be easily paired with a leather jacket and some lipstick for a smart casual night time look. I have worn this playsuit endlessly since I first bought it and it is certainly one of my favourite items of clothing.

The Floral Shorts/ Skirt 

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Summer florals are always a major trend at this time of year, and so I thought it was about time I got my hands on some summery bottoms. This skirt from Topshop for me ticks a lot of boxes as it’s not just floral but it’s also a lovely vibrant red colour. I am somewhat guilty of sticking to the same old colours… black, white, grey and the occasional pink or green. So this year I’m really trying to make an effort with colours and bold patterns that I might not usually go for. For me, this skirt is ideal as it can be paired with so many different outfits and accessories. Here, I have worn it with a little white crop top from Topshop, my Cleated New Look Sandals, my Forever 21 Round Sunglasses and my Floppy Topshop Hat.

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I featured these Daisy Print Culottes in a recent OOTD post and  I absolutely love them. Although they are black and white, daisies are my favourite flowers and so when I first picked these up in Topshop I knew I had to have them. Here I’ve paired them with a pretty, little, black scalloped vest top from Topshop. I really like this top, it’s much prettier and more flattering than a regular vest top and yet it easily goes with everything. Like my dark Topshop playsuit, these shorts are great in the day time but also can look really smart for drinks out with the girls, or date night.

The Striped Tee

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Nautical is in this summer. The classic blue and white striped top is certainly a summer essential in my book, again mainly because it’s so flexible. Here I’ve worn it with my red skirt, but it also goes brilliantly with denim shorts for a cool dressed down look, or it looks great with a good old pair of dungarees. This long-sleeved number has lasted me a pretty long time, as it goes well with a pair of Mom-Jeans in the winter or a leather skirt and also works for those colder summer days.

The High-Waisted Denim Shorts + The Cropped Top

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High waisted denim shorts and cropped tops are a match made in heaven for me. I am a big fan of anything high waisted as they give a lovely flattering vintage feel to any outfit. Cropped tops are always out in force during the summer and I have to admit I love them, but I tend to shy away from them. Although they are often pretty and summery, I find they can be unflattering if not worn with the right items of clothing. I certainly don’t have a wash board stomach and so I’m rather reluctant to put too much of it on show. I got these shorts last year from River Island, they’re a lovely light colour and of course can be easily paired with pretty much anything. I picked this cropped, vintage-style, floral top from Urban Outfitters in the sale, as I thought it was really cute and pretty. Together I think they just make a casual pretty outfit, without showing off too much skin.

The LWD

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Forget the LBD when summer comes around it’s all about finding the perfect Little White Dress, that’s pretty and feminine and shows off your holiday tan. I found this dress recently in Topshop and thought it was just what I was looking for. The two-tiered detail gives this dress a nice tailored look. And the scalloped edges and crotchet pattern give it a pretty, feminine style.

The Gladiator Sandals 

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I tend to buy a new pair of ‘summer shoes’ (generally sandals) every year, mainly just because once I get a pair I wear them religiously for the whole summer. These Chunky Cleated Sole Gladiator Sandals caught my eye a while ago in New Look. I was impressed by the cleated soles and the gold strap details, which I think make them look much more expensive that £24.99. The chunky soles are much better for your feet than really flat sandals, and the zip down the back is handy for easily slipping them on and off without all the fiddling with little straps. I’m confident that these are going to last me a good couple of summers.

2014 Summer Staples I have yet to acquire….

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Top to Bottom, Left to Right  : 1| Pins & Needles Floral Lace Crop Top and Lace Trim Shorts – £24.00 + £22.00 (Urban Outfitters).  2| Lexi Large Floral Bandeau + Shorts Co-ord Set – £20.00 (boohoo.com).  3| Ribbon Floral Co-ord Cami – £14.00 + £16.00 (BANK Fashion).  4| Vintage Renewal Floral Crop Top + Skirt in Blue – £28.00 + £28.00 (Urban Outfitters).  5| Bold Floral Shorts and T-Shirt – £32.99 + Out of Stock (Oasis).  6| Reclaimed Vintage Bralet and Shorts in Floral Print – £32.00 + £35.00 (ASOS).  7| Reclaimed Vintage Crop Top and Maxi Skirt in Floral Print – £30.00 + £50.00 (ASOS).

Kimonos

As Numbered: 1| Kimchi Blue Scarf Print Kimono Jacket – £55.00 (Urban Outfitters).  2| Denise Floral Woven Kimono – £15.00 (boohoo.com).  3| Parisian Yellow Leaf Print Tassle Hem Kimono – £24.99 (New Look).  4| Ribbon Floral Fringe Kimono – £25.00 (BANK Fashion).  5| Tropical Bird Kimono – £40.00 (Oasis).  6. Printed Waistcoat with Fringes – £12.99 (Zara).

 

Got your eye on some summer staples, but not quite enough funds?  Check out Raise.com, a new website which allows users to buy reduced gift cards, which you can buy here. AND you can sell your unwanted gift cards too. 

Harriette


 

* This post was originally written as part of Raise.com ‘s Closet Swap Campaign.

Birthday Celebrations in London

For my birthday last week, Lewis took me to London for a surprise meal out. I’d just got back from University so it was really lovely to get a spend a bit of time just the two of us and it was easy enough to hop on the train and stay over at Lewis’ student accommodation for the night. It was a nice day so we went to Covent Garden for a wander round. I love Covent Garden because there’s always something going on, whether it’s the decorations in shop windows or street entertainment.

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Here’s Lewis proving that he’s a 6ft 5″ big kid….

He wouldn’t tell me where we were going for dinner so I found it a bit difficult to decide what to wear. He just told me it was a sort of casual, cool place as opposed to a posh restaurant. In the end I decided to wear my new skirt (that he bought me as a birthday present) from Topshop and an Urban Outfitters top.

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Top – Urban Outfitters

Skirt – Topshop

Leather Jacket – H&M

Bag – River Island

Necklace – Republic

Shoes – Topshop

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I was so excited when I turned round a corner and saw Jamie’s Italien and Lewis told me that that was where we were going. I’ve been going out with this boy for two years now and he definitely knows how to impress. I was tempted to ask to sit outside as the little chairs and tables and lovely flower beds looked really inviting, however it was a little bit chilly so we decided to stay inside. The interior had a really cool warehouse feel – a bit like an old wine cellar – and cosy lighting. They had really cool copper taps in the bathrooms swell, which probably impressed me more than it should have.

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Of course I was very excited to get my hands on the menu. I’d purposely skipped lunch so I could enjoy every mouthful – knowing that Lewis would pick a good place to visit. There was certainly a lot of choice available, so I was pleased that I didn’t have to decide right away. Lewis went for a “Jamie’s Own” Liberta Beer, which he said was very nice. I was tempted to go for a cocktail but settled for an non-alcoholic Refresher, [fresh lemon, elderflower cordial & cranberry juice, topped with lemonade] which tasted amazing.

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After scouring the menu for a while, we both went for The Jamie’s Italian Burger [prime British chuck & flank steak with smoked mozzarella, mortadella, balsamic onions] and Funky Chips with fresh garlic and parsley. When the food turned up it was huge – of course Jamie Oliver isn’t know for making delicate little dishes and so I should have expected a good healthy plate of food. It tasted SO GOOD. The chips in particular were my favourite.

I said to Lewis if I could go back in time like the guy in About Time I’d go back and eat that meal a couple more times. I didn’t understand why in the film, he didn’t use his power to re-eat anything. We all have those moments where we eat something amazing and then feel sad when it’s all gone don’t we?

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I have no idea how I had room for dessert, but I couldn’t pass up trying this Raspberry & Chocolate Rippled Pavlova. My nan makes the BEST pavlova in the world, but sadly I haven’t had one in ages so I thought I’d give Jamie’s version a try. It was pretty nice and I especially liked the raspberry sauce, however I think my nan’s is still my favourite. Lewis opted for the Epic Homemade Brownie which was really rich and yummy.

After dinner we were both pretty full so went for a wander around The Strand to stretch our legs. Then we walked back across the Waterloo Bridge. I have been jealous all year of the fact that Lewis has this amazing view that he gets to see everyday on his walk to University.

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We were both quite tired after dinner so we ended the evening watching the last couple of episodes of Breaking Bad together in bed, a great end to the night as far as I was concerned.

The next morning I was eager to get up and out as we had to get the train back home at two, so Lewis and I decided we’d go back to Chelsea.

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We’d been to Chelsea previously and really enjoyed it. There’s a great range of shops and cafes on the Kings Road, and loads of pretty parks and fountains. Sloane Square in particular is wonderful to explore, and it was lovely to just sit and relax in the sunshine and people watch – there’s certainly a lot of people to be watching in Chelsea.

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Dress – Topshop

Leather Jacket – H&M

 Floppy Hat + Shoes – Topshop

After we’d wandered around the shops for a bit, we took a walk slightly off the main road and had a look at all of the beautiful rows of houses. I was particularly impressed with all of the well kept flower boxes.

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We stopped for a bite to eat at My Old Dutch, a really cool pancake place that I’d been to once before with my best friend and her family when I was 11 and really wanted to take Lewis too. The pancakes are pretty big (although admittedly they looked considerably bigger aged 11) and you can pick from the menu or customise your own. Lewis went for the simple, sweet ice cream and maple syrup choice and I chose a savoury pancake.

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It was sad to get the train home as I love London and I’d had such a wonderful couple of days with Lewis, but I felt like we’d managed to fit quite a bit into our day and a half and I was grateful to him for organising it all. Now I’ve just got to get my plans together for his birthday….

Harriette

Photo Credits: Lewis Foster 

The Birthday Wishlist.

So it’s my birthday on Thursday (the 20th of June) and I can hardly believe it’s come around so fast. Although, looking back my little cakes and wine party with all my best friends, and going out in a borrowed gold dress from my sister and a cardboard tiara made by a friend’s boyfriend, does seem like a pretty long time ago. This year probably has been one of the most dramatic of my life so far (duh duh DUUUHH), but first year at Uni has come and gone so quickly I can hardly believe I’m at the other side of it, celebrating a new birthday. 19.

Present-wise of course, my friends and family have had a slightly more difficult time this year as I haven’t been at home to drag them around various shops endlessly hinting that THAT looks very nice. I have however, spent what I think is probably a considerable amount of time, going into shops a ‘browsing’ unable to make my student budget stretch to THAT dress or THOSE really nice shoes.

So to help them out, and to hopefully acquire some of the many, many products I have been coveting I wrote a Birthday Wishlist. Some of things you will see below are actually on the list, a few our other things that caught my eye whilst I was sourcing photos. The original Birthday list, comes with the explanation that these presents are ‘ideas’ and that I certainly don’t expect everything on there, it’s really just a guide if they have no idea.

Birthday Wishlist 1

Clothing 

From top left:

Pins & Needles Floral Playsuit 

I spotted this playsuit in Urban Outfitters, next to the underwear and was a little confused as to weather it was some weird kind of nightie/ sleep suit. I did however resolve that I would wear it as a day playsuit regardless, as it’s so little and pretty. I can definitely see myself wearing this and a pair of wellies at Reading later in the year. I have recently seen a sunflower version of this playsuit, which is really pretty too.

Topshop Stripe Organza Trim Crop Tee

I loved this top when I first saw it in the shop, as I am rather partial to a striped tee in the summer – they’re just so easy to pull on over a pair of denim shorts and make a really cosy, casual summer outfit. This top is particularly nice because it’s cropped, and it has a really pretty lace trim on both the arms and the hem giving it a girly touch. I’ve seen quite a few people wearing this since my local Topshop starting stocking it and it looks great paired with a number of different outfits.

White Chunky Cleated Sole Gladiator Sandals 

My favourite type of shopping is when I can actually completely justify ‘needing’ an item. I’ve recently had a few problems with achey feet and my doctor has told me that wearing flat sandals and esprdrills in the summer is definitely not helping. She suggested that if I could find some shoes with a bit more support on the bottom, then both my feet and back would be relieved from the horrors of wearing flat shoes all summer. I stumbled across this pair of sandals in New Look the other day whilst I was searching for clothes. They come in both black and white, although I thought I might be daring and try the white as it’s lovely and summery and all of my other shoes are black. These shoes weren’t on my original birthday list, however, they might be a bit of an essential if I am fortunate enough to get any spending money.

White No 1 New York Boutique Paris T-Shirt

I saw this T-shirt a pretty long time ago now in River Island, and I am both surprised and thrilled that they currently still have it in stock. I was really, really lucky last year and got to go to New York as part of a joint birthday celebration with my mum and ever since, for no particular reason I’ve really wanted some kind of t-shirt that says “New York” on it. This one for me is ideal, it’s crisp  and simple with the black and white writing and like the striped Topshop tee I can see it working nicely with a pair of denim shorts, or with jeans or skirts in the winter.

Petite Paint Floral Flippy Skirt 

Like probably a lot of people, come the summer time my wardrobe is usually in need of a bit of a colour injection. Black is certainly my winter staple and I love it, but I do like to try and mix it up a bit every now and then. I thought this skirt was a really pretty colour and could be matched with different tops for day/ night outfits.

Pink Floral High Waisted Bikini

After investing in an high-waisted bikini from Urban Outfitters, I have very much fallen in love. I just think the shape it gives me is much more flattering, and it seems to make my legs look a bit longer, which certainly is never a bad thing. Usually I wouldn’t go for a swimsuit quite as bright as this, however I really love this pattern from Topshop, I think it’s so pretty. Just have to watch out for those ‘unfashionable naked scenarios’ as Alexa Chung calls them.

Glamorous Tall Paisley Print Playsuit 

Although I certainly don’t fall into the category of “tall”, I really love the shape and pattern of this playsuit. It’s very summery and pretty and could be easily dressed up or down, for day or night.

 

Birthday Wishlist 2

 

Beauty 

From top left:

Elemis Total Glow Gradual Tan Bronzing Body Lotion

I’ve seen a couple of good reviews for this, and I am both a big fan of Elemis and of tanning products so I want to give this a try. Gradual tanners historically are not my favourite to use, as I find they are typically slightly more streaky to apply, however I thought this might be a good product for topping up my (hopefully natural) tan from my holiday. I’ll be sure to review this if I am lucky enough to receive it.

Benefit Dandelion Blusher

This is definitely one on the duty-free list if I get a few extra pennies. The Benefit lady used this on my face when I had my makeup done at the counter, and it really works for my paler skin. The colour is so light and pretty it’s perfect for summer as well.

Fairy Dust Scented Candle by Lily Flame

Lily Flame make some gorgeous smelling candles and Fairy Dust is by far my favourite. I used all of mine up at Uni, so I’d love to get a replacement so that I can get my room smelling like melted marshmallows again. You can read my post about this candle here.

Real Techniques Finish Perfected Blush Brush

I started out with the Real Techniques Starter Kit of brushes just before Christmas and I’ve really got on with them so well, I’d love to add the Blush Brush to my little collection as it’s just a bit of a better size for blusher that the Buffing Brush.

Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner

After seeing Anna’s review of this new product on Vianna Does Makeup I really wanted to give this a try. I too am a bit hopeless at eyeliner and tend to rely heavily on eye makeup remover to fix my wobbly mistakes and to make it look vaguely like a smooth line. Maybe with this product from Benefit my skills will improve!

St Tropez Face and Body Self  Tanning Kit

I have become rather fake tan obsessed ever since I recieved the Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse in a goodie bag at the Bristol Bloggers meet. And of course, I am curious to try the ‘real deal’ and to compare it to my first love of fake tan.

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

There’s a lot of hype around the Urban Decay Naked Palettes and I’ve always taken the opportunity to dabble in other peoples when I’ve had the chance. My friend Rachel is some what more of a makeup expert than me, so when I was having a little eyeshadow crisis she grabbed her Naked Palette, smudged a few shades onto her fingers and one, two, three I had a smoky eye in no time. The variety of shades and how easy they are to use certainly makes this product tempting.

MAC lipstick

Hands up, I’ve never owed a MAC lipstick and I think it’s about time I got my hands on one. At the moment I can’t decide whether I’d rather go for a lighter, nudey pink shade like this one for day use, or whether I want to go for a deep dark red for big nights out. Any recommendations on favourite shades will be much appreciated as the range is so vast!

Birthday Wishlist 3

 

Mugs and Books 

Of course, as an English Degree student there are a few books on my birthday list. The promise of having most of the summer to read whatever I like is certainly a nice thought, so I put a few on my list: God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy; Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck; A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby [making myself read this before I watch the film] and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

I have also been in the search for a really cute little mug to fill up with tea and get me through long days of essay writing next year – I really love these sweet designs from Paperchase, Emma Bridgewater and Indigo [sadly I don’t think this one is available for purchase in the UK].

So there you go, that’s a idea of some of the things I’ve got my eye on for my birthday. I’ll have to do an update on what I do get, my friends and family always have amazing surprises for me, so I’m sure I’ll be over the moon with whatever I receive.

Do you ever write birthday lists for your birthday? Or do you prefer surprises? Would your family be clueless if you didn’t give them a bit of help? Let me know.

Harriette

Throwback Thursday: A Trip to Cambridge

One of the places that I love to visit when I’m at home for a bit is Cambridge, and so in the Easter holidays, my mum and sister came with me on a shopping trip. Cambridge is a really beautiful city, like Exeter it mixes the old and the new, the city and the country,combining huge brands with cute little trinket shops.

Driving in Cambridge I imagine is a bit of a nightmare, as there are bikes everywhere, and actually this is one of the things I love. In a weird way it’s so nice to see everyone cycling around in the sunshine on their old-fashioned bikes, and it really feels a lot a University town, which I like.

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I particularly liked the look of this Burberry print bicycle….

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We got to Cambridge at about 11.15 once we’d driven to the park and ride and got the bus into the city centre (the best way to do it in my view, as car parks are very pricey). We were all starving so we went into Giraffe, for some lunch. Admittedly, I’d never actually eaten at Giraffe before, mainly because I thought it was a vegan/ vegetarian restaurant – not sure what gave me that idea (!) – but my Mum assured me she’d been and really enjoyed the food. We sat down before they had started serving for lunch, but the staff where really friendly and they got us our drinks and menus whilst we waited. I went for a Mango Mama smoothie, which was absolutely delicious and I loved the little giraffe I got in my glass. My sister had the Fresh Lemonade with Mint, which she really liked aswell and it came in a cute little jam jar mug glass.

 

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The menu was really good, there was such a wide selection of foods I found it tricky to pick something – I really love trying new vegetarian foods, which Giraffe caters really well for, but I also love a standard burger when I’m hungry. Eventually I went for the Hot “Thai” Duck Stirfry, this was really yummy with a sweet chilli jam which tasted so good. As usual I did away with the chopsticks and went straight in with a fork.

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I did however manage to spill the chilli jam, on the white shirt I was wearing – major fail just before a shopping trip. Consequently I wore my shirt inside-out, underneath my leather jacket for the rest of the day, hoping no-one would notice. Apologies for the breast pic – but you get the idea.

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Apart from this mini-dilemma I really enjoyed Giraffe, I think I’ll definately have to try out the one in Exeter and sample a few different dishes, the burgers and mexican food looked amazing. We were all too full for dessert, so after our meal we started our shopping trip, me trying to cover my chest as much as possible.

Shopping for me was very successful. At Uni I barely let myself in clothes shops – Urban Outfitters, Topshop, River Island, H&M and Zara are all strictly off limits, as I just know as soon as I walk in I’ll want everything in the shop, and then walk sadly out thinking about that top or dress for the rest of the week. Nope, student living and clothes shopping don’t mix. So when let loose in Topshop with the promise of money to spend I went a little crazy, picking up way too much stuff, and having to politely ask my poor sister to take some bits in with her to the changing room so that I could try everything on.

It was a little while ago now, but I can remember accurately that basically everything I brought was black ( great for a ‘summer wardrobe’….) I got a really lovely floral playsuit from Topshop and new leather jacket from H&M, which I wore on mine and Lewis’s trip to Dedham, a simple black vest top from Topshop, a pair of black shorts from H&M for going out with, a sweet little white striped mesh t-shirt from Primark and a big black floppy hat  and a new laptop bag from Topshop.

As well as getting some new clothes for me, we were also on the hunt for a dress for my sister which meant a visit to Jack Wills.

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Personally I really love Jack Wills dresses, I got two in the sale a while back and wore one to the English Masquerade Ball and got a load of compliments about how flattering it was, so Eloise and I thought we’d have a look in there for her.

 

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I really liked this dress on Eloise, it’s really pretty and summery and the short length shows off the fact that she’s the sibling with the legs in the family.

It was really nice to spend a day out with my mum and my sister shopping, as it’s one of the things I miss doing with them when I’m at Uni. There’s nothing like trying on a dress, walking to the end of the changing room, to have your sister and mum tell you it’s horrible in front of all the people waiting to get in. But in all seriousness it was a lovely day, I loved being able to visit Cambridge, especially on such a sunny day and I liked helping my sister pick a dress. I was very happy with all of my purchases (despite the lack of summery gear) and pleased that I finally had some new clothes.

Hope you enjoyed this throwback post. It’s something a bit different. Where are your favourite places to shop and who do you like shopping with?

Harriette

 

Cycling to Dedham…

Yesterday, because the weather was so nice, Lewis and I decided to cycle to a sweet little nearby village called Dedham and spend the afternoon there. I really love cycling and I’m very lucky to have a really nice bike, so I was great to get out and away for a bit.

A couple of years ago I had a bit of a thing for vintage bikes, I really wanted an old-fashioned bike with a basket, and a ladylike frame just like the ones that people cycle around in Cambridge.  My Dad and I scoured eBay for weeks looking for the perfect old-fashioned, second-hand bike that we could buy and do up. After losing out in a fair few bidding wars we came across my bike, which we managed to purchase for a pretty cheap price, although it did need alot of work. When we picked it up it was pretty rusty, with a burgundy frame and in desperate need of some new tires. We took it to my Granddad, who’s pretty handy at this type of thing, and he spent a few weeks sanding it down, spray painting it this Royal Blue colour and replaced the tires and the saddle. He even bought me a navy blue ribbon to weave around the basket. I was so happy and overwhelmed to see what a great job he’d done and I still love to ride my vintage bike [I’m pretty sure it’s older than me]. As I’ve been away at Uni and the weather hasn’t been great, it was the perfect time to dust the old girl off. [I’m forever debating whether to take my bike to Uni, but there is a lot of hills in Exeter, and being such an old bike it only has three gears.]

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We left my house at about 1 o clock and had a really lovely bike ride in the sunshine, cycling down all the little country lanes, checking out all the beautiful scenery, and passing all the massive houses and barn conversions on our way.

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It takes between about half and hour and 45 minutes to get to Dedham by bike. By the time we got there Lewis was starving. We rode down the final hill into the middle of the village,locked up our bikes and walked down this little road in search of  lunch. There are a number of good places to eat in Dedham: the Essex Rose is a lovely little tea room, selling cream teas, homemade cakes and handmade sweets; although I’ve never been The Sun Inn apparently has been visited by Prince Charles; but mine and Lewis’ favourite place, and one of the poshest in Dedham, is The Boathouse.

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This lovely restaurant and boathouse, sits right on the edge of the river bank. Lewis generously treated us both to a very reasonably priced 3 course meal and we sat outside in the sunshine by the river, and ate and chatted happily, watching people going up and down in the hired rowing boats. For lunch we both had Chicken + Chorizo Toastadas for our starter with Sweet Chilli Dip and a Rocket Salad, for main we both had Award-Winning Pork Sausages with Herb Mash and Sweet Red Cabbage, then for dessert I had the Apple Strudel and Lewis had the Chocolate and Coffee Mousse. It was all absolutely delicious and a really lovely Easter treat!

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After lunch, we were planning to get a little rowing boat for ourselves, but by the time we’d finished it was getting pretty shady over the river and we didn’t want to get cold, so we decided to go and sit on the grass on the other side of the bank, with my picnic blanket, in the sunshine for a little while.  It was really nice to just sit and relax, chatting and soaking up the sun whilst watching all of the people in their rowing boats. There is little that is funnier than people watching, and we had a great time watching all of these dads and boyfriends trying their best to row and steer these little rowing boats without hitting anything. Much to our amusement, just infront of us in the river there was a duck and her ducklings taking a swim. This proved a major obstacle for the majority of male rowers who didn’t seem sure whether to slow down or try and go around them, trying to avoid hitting them with either the boat or the oars. In the gentlemen’s defence, [unfortunately it was mainly gentlemen rowing and the one lady we did see looked rather peculiar] however, it is a pretty tough task to take a rowing boat out at Dedham. You can either row around for an hour or two, up and down the river or [if you’re a bit of a pro] you can take a boat down the river about a mile to Flatford, stop there for a piece of cake and then row back. Whatever you do, getting the boat back on time is the biggest struggle and there’s a pretty hefty fine if you don’t make it. So me and Lewis decided to avoid all the hassle and lie around on the river band instead.

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Overall, it was a really nice relaxed day, just sitting in the sunshine. I’ve been going to Dedham since I was a child – walking to Flatford, going out in the rowing boats, buying sugar mice from The Essex Rose -and so it’s lovely to visit every once in a while for a lovely calm day. It’s also nice to get a bit of time with Lewis, where we don’t have anywhere to be and we can just enjoy each others company.

I hope you enjoyed this post, do you have any favourite spots near you that you love to visit? 

 

Harriette

 

This Week I’m Loving… TOPSHOP Lipstick in Mink

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I would certainly say I was very happy, when I first found out that Topshop would be selling their own makeup range. With cute but simple packaging, a variety of products and colours and at a price that doesn’t make you feel too guilty, Topshop makeup is the one. I am a particular fan of their lipsticks, having now collected a few, as they are really pigmented and come in a wide range of different colours.

 

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I picked up the lipstick in “mink” because I was looking for more of a relaxed, day to night lipstick. The colour shows up pretty well on the Topshop website and the reviews written suggest it’s a great “neutral lipstick” that “looks matte on the lips” but “feels soft and moist for a very long time”. The review did suggest that it would probably need touching up a few times, so on my first outing I took a little Real Techniques brush and the lipstick an added a bit more colour after I’d had a few drinks. As with most highstreet lipsticks I would expect to do a bit of touching up throughout the day, they don’t quite have the lasting power of, let’s say Tom Ford.

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The pictures here do make it look as though it’s got a bit more of an orangey, brown tone – the Topshop website themselves describe the colour as Mocha. But as you can hopefully see in the bottom picture, it does actually have more of a dusty pinky-brown shade, which looks really pretty without looking like you’re trying too hard – Some of my friends, and bloggers I know can pull of wearing lipstick everyday, but if like me you’d rather just wear it now and then, this shade is ideal.

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Hope you found this review helpful, are there any other Topshop lipsticks, or other Topshop makeup products that you’d recommend? 

Harriette